Calcutta, Dec. 9: Sobhandeb Chattopadhyay, the Trinamul trade union leader who was recently assaulted on Calcutta University campus, today publicly alleged that “a section of party people involved with syndicates and extortion is ringing” Mamata Banerjee for their personal gain.
Chattopadhyay initially cast his attack as an iteration of what Mamata has been saying. “I must iterate what Mamata has been telling time and again that a section of party people are involved in rampant syndicate business and extortion,” Chattopadhyay told a meeting to mark the foundation day of the INTTUC, the Trinamul-affiliated trade union.
Then he added, drawing cheers from the audience: “But the fact remains that ei dhandabaj lokera Mamatake ghire rakhe tader nijeder sartha siddhir jonyo (these opportunists form a ring around Mamata for personal gain).”
The union leader’s comments come three days after The Telegraph had reported how Trinamul supporters are locked in a tussle with their own party MLA over syndicate spoils in Rajarhat.
More embarrassment was in store for Mamata today with Ambika Banerjee, the Trinamul MP from Howrah, showering praise on junior railway minister Adhir Chowdhury and sharing a stage with the Congress leader. ( )
Contacted, Chattopadhyay said tonight: “I am quite justified in asserting that partymen involved in rampant syndicate business and other corrupt practices like collecting cut money surround Mamata for personal gains.”
Chattopadhyay also took a dig at the leadership for offering plum posts to newcomers. “Some are getting plum posts after joining Trinamul from other parties. Keu keu dari rekhe biplabi sajar chesta korchhen (There are some people who are trying to pose as revolutionaries by sporting a beard),” he said.
Chattopadhyay declined to elaborate. But Trinamul sources felt that some of the targets were newly appointed ministers Krishnendu Chowdhury and Humayun Kabir. Both had left the Congress.
The reference to the “beard” also drew the attention of the party as the name of such a minister had cropped up during some syndicate controversies in Rajarhat.
Chattopadhyay slammed the leadership for not “doing justice to me” by taking action against his assaulters on Calcutta University campus on November 27. “I waited for long — 12 days — to get justice but nothing has been done against those involved in my assault. The leadership has not even publicly condemned the attack on me, let alone taking disciplinary action against them,” he said.
The dissident leader said he would remain loyal to the party and would not leave Trinamul but he did not conceal his resentment. “I was called for a hearing but I was not heard even after I was made to wait,” he said without naming the chief minister.
Last Saturday, Chattopadhyay spend around 20 minutes at Mamata’s residence but left after the chief minister informed him over phone that she was busy.
Partha Chatterjee, the Trinamul leader who had held peace meetings with Chattopadhyay, declined to react to the comments made today.